A pedestrian bridge commissioned by Florida International University (FIU) collapsed onto SW 8th Street in the Sweetwater section of Miami, Florida at 1:46 PM on March 15, 2018. Six of the eight driving lanes were open to traffic at the time and six people were killed: one bridge construction worker and five vehicle occupants; 6 people were seriously injured: four bridge construction workers and two vehicle occupants; and four people had minor injuries: one bridge construction worker and three vehicle occupants.
The first fundamental canon of the National Society for Professional Engineers states that engineers “shall hold paramount the health, safety, and welfare of the public.” As the Vice President of the National Transportation Safety Board put it, “we have been building bridges in the United States for over two hundred years, and in other parts of the world for long before that. The science should be well sorted out by now.” Is it possible that engineering mistakes were made but that all involved held paramount the health, safety, and welfare of the public throughout? Or, was the fundamental canon of engineering ethics violated? In some accounts and analyses after an engineering failure, accountability is focused on one particular individual or mistake. In other accounts of the same disaster, sometimes accountability is seen to be distributed among many individuals, companies, and agencies.
This course presents evidence to help participants decide who or what is accountable for the FIU Bridge collapse, and thus the proper means of ensuring that similar episodes do not occur in the future. Emphasis will be placed on recent changes to the American Society for Civil Engineering (ASCE) Code of Ethics that emphasizes public safety as the primary stakeholder in engineering decisions.
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand the relevant technical details of the Florida International University Pedestrian Bridge Collapse Case
- Understand the different organizations, companies, and agencies involved in the design and oversight of the Florida University Pedestrian Bridge
- Understand the changes to the most recent American Civil Society for Civil Engineering Code of Ethics
- Develop an ability to apply ASCE Code of Ethics to the role of engineers involved in the Florida International University Pedestrian Bridge Collapse Case
Total Number of Approved PDH Hours: 1